Data and Probability

The Star Wars phenomena continues

Rogue One has only recently come out and grossed nearly 300 million dollars in its opening weekend. We were curious about how often and how profitable the Star Wars movies have been.  So we gathered data on each movie’s budget…

Home team advantage?

Even before your students check out the graphic below, ask them whether they think a game played at home gives their team an advantage.  If so, how much of an advantage?  Enjoy the discussion first.  Then show the graphic.

At least the days are getting longer

What’s your guess as to how fast the number of daylight hours will change each day from now until June 21st?  Will the changes be dramatic? Will the lengthening days be only a subtle change? Students make guesses; compute how…

Earth’s Perihelion

On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Earth will be as close as it gets to the Sun during its orbit. Shouldn’t that make this the warmest time of the year? In this activity students become familiar with the terms perihelion and aphelion as they calculate…

Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop

On Saturday evening, December 31st, 2016 at 12:59 pm, much of the world will be watching the iconic Times Square Tower’s New Year’s Eve ball drop 141 feet to the roof of the One Times Square Building in Manhattan, NY.  This…

Pre-winter holiday activities!

Christmas tree lights – Students first guess how many feet of lights would be required to decorate this tree.  The class finds the mean and median of those guesses.  Then they brainstorm and refine their guesses. Lastly they figure out how…

It’s latke time

In my family it is traditional to eat latkes (Yiddish for potato pancakes) at this time of year.  They are fried in a lot of oil and salted generously.  My mom’s latkes were wonderful but they couldn’t have been good for…

Consumer Spending 2016

We spend a lot of money as consumers in the U.S. In this activity we look at historical data to see if there are any patterns in our spending.  How does our holiday spending show up in these graphs?  What…

Black Friday, football, and giving

Construction This is a 3-act activity about an annual display of creativity, engineering, and design as artists contribute cans of food for the shelters and food banks of their city.  Students analyze, look for patterns, discuss solutions, and finally quantify the number…

Fantastic Beasts – What did it cost to make?

In 2001, J.K.Rowling (the author of the Harry Potter series) wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movie of this book opened on November 18th, 2016.  This is the first in a series of three movies that are meant to…

Shrinking Toblerone

They changed it.  That is so not fair … or is it? You can check out a video news story on the delicious shrinking Toblerone bar here. Two sizes of Toblerone bars are now configured differently.  How much did they…

Veterans Day

As Veterans Day approaches, let your students learn about and appreciate the meaning of the day by analyzing the powerful data that we’ve supplied. Students can use our numbers to create questions for their classmates … questions that can emphasize the tremendous gift…

4 Election activities

Is the system of having an Electoral College unfair? – Students consider how districting can effect the Electoral college vote.  6.RP, 7.RP How much will you make when you are President? – The President’s salary does not change from year to year.…